From £215,0009
The hardcore track-focused Performante has active aerodynamics and more power than the standard Huracán - so, does it unlock the supercar's full potential?

Our Verdict

Lamborghini Huracán Performante

Can Lamborghini’s lighter, harder-hitting Huracán really mix it with £1m hypercars?

22 May 2017

What is it?

The Lamborghini Huracán Performante is Lamborghini's attempt to build a track-focused halo car in the style of the Ferrari 458 Speciale and McLaren 675 LT.

In the usual style, it's lighter to the tune of 40kg over the regular LP610-4 and has a bit more power - 631bhp, up from 602bhp. Torque is increased, too, from 413lb ft to 442lb ft with improved response and a chunkier curve thanks to improved response and a less restrictive exhaust system. 

But the Performante's real trick is its Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva system, known as ALA for short. It basically offers a high downforce mode for corners and a low downforce mode for the straights, taking just 0.2sec to switch between them.

Cleverer still, it can vary the downforce across the rear wing, increasing it on the unloaded wheel to effectively drag the car into the turns upon entry and offer improved traction upon exit. Bespoke Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres help realise this, and there are optional Trofeos available if you want to try and match that astounding 6min 52sec Nürburgring lap time that Lamborghini set with the car.

Outwardly, you'll spot the Performante from regular Huracáns by its extensive use of Lamborghini's Forged Composite carbonfibre for the aero parts, bronze-coloured wheels and Italian flags on its sills. Because what's a true Lamborghini if not attention seeking?

What's it like?

It's fast, obviously. A whole 1.0sec faster from 0-124mph (or 200km/h) than the regular Huracán. And it's loud. Really, really loud. 

Such things you'd expect, but the Performante is more than just a shouty Huracán in a bodykit. That 'Ring lap necessitated a compliant chassis, so spring rates are only up by 10%.

As such, it's not that much harsher than a standard Huracán when it's in regular Strada mode, and it can happily mooch about town and get the smartphone-photographer masses in a froth. But as you progress through Sport mode and into the track-focused Corsa, a whole different car emerges. 

Optional variable-rack dynamic steering and magnetorheological dampers fully realise the potential of the ALA system, the stability control has been retuned and the whole car feels more alert and agile. The biggest improvement is in the steering, which has been locked into a much narrower range of variance in Corsa mode, addressing the sensation of pushing on that dominates the regular Huracan's dynamics. With something to lean against, you now have even greater confidence in the throttle.

And what a throttle. We've got used to turbocharged supercars, but the Performante's bombastic naturally-aspirated V10 is a wake-up call in terms of noise, response and linearity of delivery. It's so sharp, so exciting and so goddamn loud that you'll find any excuse to ring it out to the 8,000rpm power peak, with the huge powerband giving you so many options.

Lamborghini has kept the Performante as an all-wheel-drive car, insisting that this was better for the 'Ring lap time than going rear-driven and properly hardcore. As such, it's confidence-inspiring and balanced on the throttle, rotating just a tad in Corsa and showing a playful but safe edge to the handling. True purists may find this a little too safe compared with the 458 Speciale, but the Performante makes you feel like a true hero however good your abilities.

Should I buy one?

Making a proper stab at track ability and lap times is new territory for Lamborghini, and the Performante's chosen speciality of active aerodynamics gives it real technical intrigue. The expert calibration of the various technology is brilliantly executed, too, and never intrudes on the driving experience; the astonishing pace of this car is as accessible to average drivers as it is rewarding to real experts.

Some may still prefer the rear-driven balance of cars such as the 458 Speciale, 675 LT or even the Porsche 911 GT3 RS. But for a Lamborghini to be even considered worthy of comparison with such iconic cars is a big, big step forward for the brand.

The Performante looks great, goes like stink and doesn't lose much to the regular Huracán in terms of road use while delivering a whole new level of track performance. Why wouldn't you buy one?

Lamborghini Huracan Performante

Price £215,000 Engine V10, 5,204cc Power 631bhp at 8000rpm Torque 442lb ft at 6500rpm Gearbox 7-spd dual-clutch automatic Kerb weight 1,382kg 0-62mph 2.9sec Top speed 202mph Economy 20.6mpg CO2/tax band 314g/km Rivals Ferrari 458 SpecialeMcLaren 675LT

Dan Trent

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Comments
2

22 May 2017
Then Huracan Performante appears to be the one to go for, if Huracan is under consideration.

22 May 2017
Autocar wrote:

Outwardly, you'll spot the Performante from regular Huracáns by its extensive use of Lamborghini's Forged Composite carbonfibre for the aero parts, bronze-coloured wheels and Italian flags on its sills. Because what's a true Lamborghini if not attention seeking?

Even in this version, the Huracan stills looks a bit dull compared to the Countach, especially after it gained those 345mm rear tyres and the big rear spoiler.

Citroëniste.

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